UM Sports Trivia | May 13

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Mike Stepovich was at one time was the territorial Governor of Alaska and is now the only living former governor  who headed a state in the 1950’s. Stepovich headed Alaska’s efforts to gain admission as the 49th state in the Union. Stepovich left office on in January of 1959. What you ask does the above have to do with sports? Well Stepovich played basketball at Gonzaga and always loved the game. Stepovich’s daughter married a fellow Gonzaga student John Stockton. Mike Stepovich may be the oldest living former governor in the U.S., but even rarer depending on the sport, Stepovich is decked out in Griz apparel and more recently MSU gear.  Grandson Houston played for the Griz football team from 2006-09 and now Lindsay Stockton plays for the MSU Women’s basketball team.

Mike_Montgomery_at_2008_Golden_Bear_Classic_championship_game_1

Former University of Montana Grizzly Basketball Coach, MikeMontgomery.

Former Griz basketball coach Mike Montgomery will be in town to speak at the annual “Sportsmen of the Year” banquet. Montgomery   was named Griz head coach on April 7, 1978 and in effort to navigate some administrative rules on hiring, his position was called “Head of the Men’s and Women’s basketball program” and many believed initially he would coach both teams . Two months later Robin Selvig was hired and Montgomery didn’t have to do much overseeing of the women’s program. In December of 2005 the coach’s son John scored 9 points for Loyola Marymount in an appearance at Dahlberg Arena. Montgomery last coached at Dahlberg Arena in October of 2005 when his Golden State Warriors faced the LA Clippers in an NBA exhibition.

Jeff Griffin, the long-time Assistant general Manager of the Missoula Ospreys, has been gaining some empathy for Osprey field managers. For the last 3 years, Griffin has been Coach/Manager of a Little League team sponsored by the Osprey.

In 1969 the New York Jets were a cultural phenomenon after winning Super Bowl III. Next to quarterback Joe Namath no player cashed in on his new found celebrity better than George Sauer Jr. Sauer was a good looking bachelor who made amazing catches. Sauer suffered numerous concussions, which in that era was a badge of honor. Sauer was one of the first players to call for reforming rules and equipment. Sauer died last week after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumedmascot.

Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament

When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.